all souls orchestra
On Monday 6th March, KS2 children were treated to a pre-concert visit by some of the musicians from All Souls Orchestra who will be taking part in Prom Praise. Caroline and her team gave an assembly to the whole of KS2 and then followed this with a workshop for those going to Prom Praise.
The team demonstrated their instruments and they asked quite complex questions which got the children thinking about how each instrument produces its sound. The children acted out a short part of the parable of the Lost Son, which is the theme for this years Prom Praise and they also taught the children a song that we will be singing on the evening.
It was a thoroughly enjoyable time and the children were all enthused about their forthcoming trip.
Music at Our School
Music at St. John's is considered to be a very important part of the curriculum and life of the school - Ofsted March 2010 reported that 'The quality of singing and the orchestra are superb.'
Nearly 200 children across the school are currently learning a musical instrument.
The instruments available to learn, at present are: flute, oboe, clarinet, saxophone, trumpet, trombone, violin, cello, drums and guitar. These lessons are led by peripatetic teachers supplied by Harrow Music Service. The cost of lessons is subsidised by the school and currently stands at £60 per term (Spring 2015). There is an option to hire an instrument from us, dependant on availability, for £10 per term (Spring 2015). At the discretion of the instrumental teacher, the pupils have the opportunity to be entered for Trinity/Guildhall graded exams. Many of our pupils have gained distinction and merits in these exams. Further financial help can be obtained if your child is entitled to free School meals or other forms of funding.
All of our year 3 children are given free tuition on the violin or cello. This takes place during the school day and is run by teachers from Harrow Music Service.
For children interested in learning an instrument, a short taster sessions is held in April/May each year. Successful pupils are asked to practice regularly, and attend lessons punctually. A tutor book may be required to purchase for use in lessons. Importantly, we need to stress that any instrument hired or owned, must be insured. Neither the school nor the borough can be held responsible for any change to, or loss of, property brought onto the school premises.
Concerts and Festivals
During the school year there are many opportunities for all our musicians, depending on ability, to attend concerts and festivals.
Harrow Music Service host some amazing opportunities. St. John's School take part in the Band Festival, String Festival, Guitar Festival, World Music Festival and Percussion Days. After a day's rehearsal at Elliot Hall, Harrow Art Centre, the children perform to family, friends and often representatives from the Harrow Mayoral Council. It's when all these musicians come together, the magic happens!
We hold a weekly morning music practise to prepare the orchestra to accompany worship.
There is also a weekly After School Orchestra Club. The children learn some of the popular classical pieces and some modern pieces. Children of Orchestra Club have been involved in the World Music Festival and have played at the Annual Christmas Tree Festival held at All Saints Church, Harrow Weald. They also accompany the worship at special Church Services.
The children learn a mixture of traditional hymns and songs, as well as contemporary songs. They have the opportunity to sing at the Schools Choir Showcase, held at Harrow Arts Centre, and Voice in a Million held at Wembley Arena. The children regularly sing at School Church Services, Christmas Tree Festival and entertain the folk at St. John's Tea and Chat during the Christmas period. They also sing at the Voluntary Aided Schools Christmas Service held the Speech Room, Harrow School.
The school awards two musical trophies each year. The 'Evans Cup' for outstanding musical contribution to the school, (usually given to a leaver) and the 'Grier Cup' for outstanding achievement on a particular musical instrument. The Grier award might be awarded to any child of the school who has made outstanding progress on a particular instrument during the school year. Both trophies have been kindly donated by parents of pupils who have attended St John's.